Sabrina Sales Martinez

Project Title: Effect of Cocaine Use on the Intestinal Microbiome and Metabolome and Inflammation in HIV-Infected Adults in the Miami Adult Studies in HIV (MASH) Cohort

Cocaine use is a risk factor for HIV disease progression, independent of antiretroviral therapy use and has also been associated with a pro-inflammatory state.  Information is lacking on the interaction of the intestinal microbiome, microbiome-related metabolomics and inflammation in the context of cocaine use in HIV-infected individuals.  The goal of this study is to use an integrated multi-omics platform that includes high-throughput metagenomics technology (16S rRNA sequencing) and metabolomics (identification of microbiome-related metabolites) using non-targeted gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based profiling for identifying novel relationships between the intestinal microbiota, its metabolites and systemic inflammation with cocaine use in HIV-infection.  The MASH cohort will be the main recruitment source of participants.  This is a cross-sectional study that will include covariates such as dietary intake, food security, and sexual behavior that may also affect the intestinal microbiome, which are currently lacking in published studies.  The specific aims of this project are: 1) characterize and compare the intestinal microbiota in HIV-positive cocaine users and non-users, 2) perform untargeted metabolic profiling of plasma samples to investigate microbiome-associated metabolic products among cocaine users compared to non-users in HIV-positive participants and 3) using integrated multi-omic analysis, examine interrelationships between intestinal microbiota, microbiome-associated metabolic products and inflammation markers in HIV-positive participants. Understanding key intestinal bacterial functional pathways that may be altered due to combined impact of cocaine use and HIV infection will provide a better understanding of the relationships between the host intestinal microbiome and inflammation, and potentially provide novel treatments to improve the health of HIV infected substance users.

Research Interests

HIV, Nutrition, Substance Abuse, Inflammation, Obesity, Intestinal Microbiome, Oxidative Stress

Assistant Professor
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition

Dr. Sabrina Sales Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition and the Miami Adult Studies in HIV (MASH) cohort Assistant Project Director. She is also a registered dietitian/nutritionist and has expertise in the effect of nutritional status on HIV.  She has over 15 years of experience working in HIV-related research and working with the underserved populations of Miami-Dade County.  Dr. Martinez is a co-investigator on three National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded studies including a U01 grant that follows a large cohort of people living with HIV and/or HCV, which includes the MASH cohort.  These studies investigate the impact of cocaine on HIV and HIV/HCV co-infection disease progression and morbidity in a population with disparities in access to care.  Dr. Martinez’s research seeks to better understand how life-style factors including diet and substance abuse, obesity, inflammation and gut microbiota affect HIV disease progression and the possible mechanisms involved.

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